- 1.The coastline is very sensitive to both climatic and human influences but also provides essential goods and services upon which human welfare depends. Species inhabiting these coastal areas provide valuable resources and enhance ecosystem functioning: it is therefore essential to understand the main factors influencing species abundance patterns. The aim of this study is to estimate the amount of variation in nekton coastal assemblages explained by spatial, temporal and environmental variables.
- 2.Nekton sampling was carried out over 17 months in the Terminos Lagoon, a reserve area situated in the Gulf of Mexico, using a shrimp trawl. At each station, 11 environmental variables were recorded. The influence of seasonal, spatial and environmental variables on nekton species abundance was analysed using Partial Canonical Correspondence Analysis (PCCA).
- 3.The explanatory variables explained only 19.7% of the total observed variation in the nekton community for the Terminos Lagoon. The major part of the explained variation was due to the spatial effect (9.2%), while environmental variables and seasonality explained only 3.6% and 0.8%, respectively, suggesting the necessity to consider experimental fishing design in such artisanal fisheries.
- 4.Results also suggest focusing on more integrative indicators of community structure such as measures of taxonomic diversity based on presence/absence or on measures related to functional attributes of communities rather than using species abundance patterns to predict changes in coastal ecosystems.
Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.